Alcohol and other drugs #alcohol, #drinking, #drinks, #wine, #beer, #parties, #friends, #alcoholism, #drop #out #of


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Alcohol

Getting the Right Message

“Hey, who wants a drink?”

“Oh, come on, just one drink won’t hurt you. It’s fun.”

“It’s cool. Everybody drinks, right?”

Drinking alcohol is dangerous for kids and teens and sometimes for adults, too. Alcohol is a drug, and it is the drug most abused by teens. Many kids have their first drink at an early age, as young as 10 or 11 or even younger.

It’s easy for kids to get the wrong message about alcohol. They might see their parents drink or watch TV commercials that make drinking look like a lot of fun. You might see people drinking and watching sports together or having a big party.

But alcohol is actually a depressant. That means it’s a drug that slows down or depresses the brain. Like many drugs, alcohol changes a person’s ability to think, speak, and see things as they really are. A person might lose his or her balance and have trouble walking properly. The person might feel relaxed and happy and later start crying or get in an argument.

What Happens When People Drink?

When people drink too much, they might do or say things they don’t mean. They might hurt themselves or other people, especially if they drive a car. Someone who drinks too much also might throw up and could wake up the next day feeling awful that’s called a hangover.

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can kill a person. Over time, people who abuse alcohol can do serious damage to their bodies. The liver, which removes poisons from the blood, is especially at risk.

Because alcohol can cause such problems, the citizens and government leaders in the United States decided that kids shouldn’t be allowed to buy or use alcohol. By setting the drinking age at 21, they hope older people will be able to make good decisions about alcohol. For instance, they don’t want people to drink alcohol and drive cars because that’s how many accidents occur.

What Is Alcoholism?

What can be confusing about alcohol is that some grown-ups seem to be able to enjoy it occasionally with no problems. Other people, though, can develop a problem with it. Sometimes, that’s called alcoholism (say: al-kuh-HOL ism) or being an alcoholic (say: al-kuh-HOL ik). Someone who has alcoholism craves alcohol. The person has little control over his or her drinking and can’t stop without help. A person who starts drinking alcohol at a young age is more likely to develop alcoholism.

Alcoholism is chronic, which means it continues over time. It often gets worse, too, because the person may start experiencing health problems related to drinking. In addition to causing liver problems, long-term drinking can damage the pancreas, heart, and brain.

Say No

It can be tempting to try alcohol. It’s normal to be curious about new things, especially if it seems like everyone is doing it. But everyone is not drinking alcohol. Don’t believe it if someone says you’re immature for not drinking. You’re actually more mature (which means grown up) because you’re being strong and smart.

Still, it can be hard if you feel unpopular because of your decision. Good friends won’t stop being your friend just because you don’t want to drink alcohol. If you feel this kind of pressure, talk to someone you trust.

And if you’re concerned about a friend who’s drinking, you should tell one of your parents, a school counselor. or another trusted adult. That way, someone can talk with your friend before the alcohol causes a big problem. Unfortunately, some kids who drink may also drop out of school, get in car accidents, start fights, or join in crimes.

But with help, anyone who has a problem with alcohol can be successful at stopping. And if you’re still a kid, help yourself by not starting in the first place!

Date reviewed: September 2016


mortgage marvel


#Ease and risks with online mortgage shopping

Some websites request Social Security number to obtain mortgage rate

Illinois mortgage rates (Purestock illustration)

With mortgage rates at historic low levels, now may be a good time to buy or refinance a house, and the Internet has made it easier than ever to shop for a mortgage.

But shopping online can sometimes mean providing your Social Security number to a website in order to get a mortgage rate a process that disturbs some consumers and industry experts.

“There are probably eight to 10 criteria that are required to accurately price a mortgage, and a Social Security number is not one of them,” said Rick Allen, chief financial officer at Mortgage Marvel, a Milwaukee-based company that provides online quotes for mortgage rates and closing fees.

Not all mortgage websites ask applicants for Social Security numbers and other detailed personal and financial information.

Mortgage Marvel recently conducted a side-by-side comparison of the four leading mortgage lender websites Bankrate, Zillow, Mortgage Marvel and Lending Tree and found that Lending Tree is the only one that asked applicants to provide a Social Security number to receive a mortgage rate.

Customized quotes

Megan Greuling, communications manager for Lending Tree, based in Charlotte, N.C. said the company also has mortgage rate forms that do not require Social Security numbers, but she said when customers do provide the numbers it allows lenders to give them customized actual mortgage quotes.

“If you look at rate tables online for different sites, those rates do not reflect the consumer’s borrowing profile,” she said. “Providing a Social Security number on the form helps to avoid the whole bait-and-switch maneuver where borrowers expect one rate and end up with another one that is much higher.”

Greuling said Lending Tree understands some people are hesitant to provide a Social Security number to obtain a mortgage rate, but she said the website is on a completely secure platform. Lending Tree collects data that people provide on its website and sells the information to its network of 300 mortgage lenders who compete for the customer’s business.

“We don’t sell the information for any other reason than to allow the lenders to create a customized quote,” Greuling said.

Stricter mortgage guidelines that were put in place due to the housing crash do not appear to have discouraged the majority of people from pursuing the American dream of homeownership.

Mortgage applications are up 53.4 percent from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. Mortgage Marvel reports online mortgage applications on its site from January to June are up 80.18 percent compared with the same period last year.

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates at historic lows, home loans are still among the cheapest forms of debt.

Although online mortgage shopping can often be more convenient, brick and mortar mortgage brokers still play an important role in the home lending business.

“The quote we give will be 100 percent accurate,” said Art Basmajian, owner of Barron Mortgage in Blawnox, Pa. “An online service a lot of times will not ask the right questions. If a broker doesn’t ask the right questions, the rate they quote could be totally off.”

According to the comparison study, Zillow is the only mortgage shopping site that provides lender ratings, while only Zillow and Bank Rate allow consumers to compare multiple mortgage products in a single search. Mortgage Marvel and Zillow offer an email alert service to loan applicants. All four websites offer immediate real-time quotes.

Allen said mortgage shoppers will need to know their credit score prior to filling out Mortgage Marvel’s online application for a mortgage rate quote, but that information does not compromise the person’s identity because without the borrower’s date of birth or home address, a cyberthief would still not have enough information to find the borrower.

“With a transaction the magnitude of a mortgage, you definitely want to shop,” Allen said. “You really want to compare interest rates, points and fees.”


mortgage


#Banks warn that APRA move on home loan risks will push up mortgage costs – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

By business reporter Michael Janda Updated Пн 20 июл 2015, 12:33 PM AEST

Australia’s four major banks, plus Macquarie, will face higher capital requirements from July 1, 2016.

ABC News, file photo

The banking regulator APRA is requiring the major banks to hold more capital in reserve to protect against potential mortgage losses.

In a media release this morning, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) announced that it would require an average mortgage risk weight of 25 per cent on residential mortgages, up from the current average of around 16 per cent.

The change applies only to the four major banks (ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac) and Macquarie Bank, which are the five institutions currently allowed to set their own mortgage risk weights.

All other lenders regulated by APRA use a standard 35 per cent risk weight on residential mortgages, meaning that the major banks will still retain a cost advantage over smaller rivals.

“The mortgage industry was a little bit biased towards the major players because they could hold less capital and, therefore, it brings the centre of gravity back a little further towards some of the smaller players,” the principal of Digital Finance Analytics, Martin North told The World Today.

Mortgage risk weights reflect the belief, based on previous experience, that residential mortgages are safer than other types of loan.

Therefore, banks need only hold enough capital to cover losses on a certain percentage of their total residential mortgage loan book, rather than 100 per cent of the loans.

The cost of holding higher capital will inevitably be borne by customers and shareholders. Peter King, Westpac CFO

Currently, the major banks have average risk weights in the mid-teens, and APRA said the 25 per cent floor is likely to see the major banks raise their overall capital by 80 basis points.

That would go some way towards the 200-basis-point increase in major bank capital levels that APRA wants to see to ensure that Australia’s banks are in the world’s top quarter for safety.

APRA’s research suggested that a 200-basis-point capital increase might equate to the banks raising an additional $30 billion, meaning that 80 basis points may require $12 billion in extra capital to be raised by the big four and Macquarie.

Major banks warn shareholders and customers will pay

The change will come into effect from July 1, 2016, giving the banks around a year to raise additional capital and get their affairs in order.

The major banks will be affected quite differently by APRA’s announcement.

Bank profits under threat

National Australia Bank said its recent surprise $5.5 billion capital raising was in part designed to provide a buffer for likely regulatory changes, and its key capital ratio is likely to be within its target range after the risk weight change.

ANZ said the changes are likely to require an additional $2.3 billion in capital to cover its mortgage portfolio, however it described the estimated 55-basis-point increase in its capital position as “manageable” given the year transition period.

Due to its larger reliance on home lending, the Commonwealth Bank said it is expecting a 95-basis-point increase will be needed in its key ‘common equity tier one’ capital ratio for residential mortgages.

“In expectation of APRA’s recent announcements, CBA has been working on a number of options for managing our capital over the coming year,” said its chief financial officer David Craig.

“We will provide more commentary on these announcements when we present our annual results on 12 August 2015.”

Westpac is the only bank so far to put a concrete number on the likely impact, saying it will probably have to raise an additional $3 billion in capital.

The bank’s chief financial officer Peter King has warned that shareholders and customers will bear some of the cost.

It may probably force them to raise rates or reduce discounts on mortgage rates. T.S. Lim, Bell Potter Securities

“We are well placed for this change having already taken a number of significant steps to boost our capital position, including partially underwriting the first half 2015 DRP [dividend reinvestment plan] and the recent sale of shares in BT Investment Management,” he said.

“While Westpac is well-placed to meet these changes, increased capital does come at a cost. The cost of holding higher capital will inevitably be borne by customers and shareholders.”

However, the chief executive of the Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA) Mark Degotardi said his members are unaffected by the change and customers can switch to them if the major banks do pass on their increased costs to mortgage rates.

“If the major banks seek to increase home loan interest rates in response to APRA’s new, fairer capital settings, customer-owned banking institutions look forward to taking market share from the major banks,” he said.

Audio 3:33 Banking analyst Martin North explains APRA s mortgage changes

ABC News

It is possible that, as with NAB, CBA and the other two major banks, as well as Macquarie, may need to ask shareholders to tip in more funds through capital raisings.

That would dilute earnings per share, and put downward pressure on dividends.

Banks have also been selling so-called ‘non-core’ assets to raise additional funds.

‘Not going to have a massive impact’

However, Bell Potter Securities analyst T.S. Lim said the increase is smaller than many had feared, and the banks have a year to transition.

“It is better than expected as they haven’t been slapped with a 30 per cent average risk weight as some thought,” he told Bloomberg.

The major banks hold less capital against their mortgages today than pre-GFC, and that needs to be corrected. Martin North, Digital Finance Analytics

Mr Lim said that the Commonwealth and Westpac would likely need to raise around $3 billion each in extra capital, and ANZ $2 billion.

He told Bloomberg that NAB’s capital raising was likely sufficient to cover the additional requirements, while Macquarie’s mortgage book was small enough that it would not be significantly affected.

However, it might make mortgages a little more expensive, as banks seek to cover the extra costs.

“It may probably force them to raise rates or reduce discounts on mortgage rates,” Mr Lim added.

Martin North agrees that there might be less home loan discounts on offer as the changes filter through, but said they are “not going to have a massive impact”, and simply move the banks back towards their previous position.

“At the moment, the major banks hold less capital against their mortgages today than pre-GFC, and that needs to be corrected,” he added.

The Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry recommended a floor of 25-30 per cent on the so-called “internal ratings-based” approach to setting mortgage risk weights.

APRA said it may lift the 25 per cent floor further, depending on the outcome of negotiations within the Basel Committee on financial regulation, which is expected to unveil a new international framework later this year.

Posted Пн 20 июл 2015, 8:54 AM AEST

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mortgage marvel


#Ease and risks with online mortgage shopping

Some websites request Social Security number to obtain mortgage rate

Illinois mortgage rates (Purestock illustration)

With mortgage rates at historic low levels, now may be a good time to buy or refinance a house, and the Internet has made it easier than ever to shop for a mortgage.

But shopping online can sometimes mean providing your Social Security number to a website in order to get a mortgage rate a process that disturbs some consumers and industry experts.

“There are probably eight to 10 criteria that are required to accurately price a mortgage, and a Social Security number is not one of them,” said Rick Allen, chief financial officer at Mortgage Marvel, a Milwaukee-based company that provides online quotes for mortgage rates and closing fees.

Not all mortgage websites ask applicants for Social Security numbers and other detailed personal and financial information.

Mortgage Marvel recently conducted a side-by-side comparison of the four leading mortgage lender websites Bankrate, Zillow, Mortgage Marvel and Lending Tree and found that Lending Tree is the only one that asked applicants to provide a Social Security number to receive a mortgage rate.

Customized quotes

Megan Greuling, communications manager for Lending Tree, based in Charlotte, N.C. said the company also has mortgage rate forms that do not require Social Security numbers, but she said when customers do provide the numbers it allows lenders to give them customized actual mortgage quotes.

“If you look at rate tables online for different sites, those rates do not reflect the consumer’s borrowing profile,” she said. “Providing a Social Security number on the form helps to avoid the whole bait-and-switch maneuver where borrowers expect one rate and end up with another one that is much higher.”

Greuling said Lending Tree understands some people are hesitant to provide a Social Security number to obtain a mortgage rate, but she said the website is on a completely secure platform. Lending Tree collects data that people provide on its website and sells the information to its network of 300 mortgage lenders who compete for the customer’s business.

“We don’t sell the information for any other reason than to allow the lenders to create a customized quote,” Greuling said.

Stricter mortgage guidelines that were put in place due to the housing crash do not appear to have discouraged the majority of people from pursuing the American dream of homeownership.

Mortgage applications are up 53.4 percent from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C. Mortgage Marvel reports online mortgage applications on its site from January to June are up 80.18 percent compared with the same period last year.

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates at historic lows, home loans are still among the cheapest forms of debt.

Although online mortgage shopping can often be more convenient, brick and mortar mortgage brokers still play an important role in the home lending business.

“The quote we give will be 100 percent accurate,” said Art Basmajian, owner of Barron Mortgage in Blawnox, Pa. “An online service a lot of times will not ask the right questions. If a broker doesn’t ask the right questions, the rate they quote could be totally off.”

According to the comparison study, Zillow is the only mortgage shopping site that provides lender ratings, while only Zillow and Bank Rate allow consumers to compare multiple mortgage products in a single search. Mortgage Marvel and Zillow offer an email alert service to loan applicants. All four websites offer immediate real-time quotes.

Allen said mortgage shoppers will need to know their credit score prior to filling out Mortgage Marvel’s online application for a mortgage rate quote, but that information does not compromise the person’s identity because without the borrower’s date of birth or home address, a cyberthief would still not have enough information to find the borrower.

“With a transaction the magnitude of a mortgage, you definitely want to shop,” Allen said. “You really want to compare interest rates, points and fees.”